adult woman preparing to get vaccine from doctorThere’s nothing more bothersome than a constant ringing or buzzing in your ear.  Tinnitus, which is the perception of ringing in the ear, is difficult to “tune out”.  As a result, this causes problems when trying to fall asleep, focusing at work and various other activities of daily life.  More than 15% of people experience tinnitus at one point or another in their life. The amount of time that this condition lasts varies, and it can range in severity as well.  It can disappear in a matter of weeks, or it can unfortunately last a lifetime for some.


Although there aren’t enough studies yet, there have been many reports of the COVID-19 virus exacerbating preexisting tinnitus. Based on a recent study published in the International Journal of Audiology, scientists estimated that 7.6% of infected people experienced hearing loss, 14.8% reported tinnitus and 7.2% reported vertigo. 


The virus can actually affect the cochlea, which is the bone located in the inner ear, responsible for transmitting sound waves. Sometimes tinnitus can be triggered by stress, and stress is something that most of us have experienced during this pandemic period.  Many people have also noticed their symptoms more while in isolation, whereas they may have been ignoring them previously.


As you may remember from a previous SleepAches article, tinnitus and subjective hearing loss may also be caused by TMD.  The Journal of the American Dental Association stated, “More than 70 percent of dentists surveyed by the ADA’s Health Policy Institute are seeing an increase of patients experiencing teeth grinding and clenching, conditions often associated with stress.”


If you are starting to notice symptoms of tinnitus and/or hearing loss, make sure to consult your doctor.


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